June 24th, 2024

Team Shannon preparing for Provincial Championship

By Lethbridge Herald on January 19, 2023.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Team Shannon: From left, coach Andy Jones, Jaelyn Macrae, Amy Janz, Faith Thomas and Kayleigh Shannon are pictured after winning the provincial ‘C’ qualifier in Brooks last weekend.

By Justin Seward



The Team Shannon curling team of Lethbridge’s Kayleigh Shannon, Jaelyn Macrae, Amy Janz and Faith Thomas are putting time in on the ice this week as they prepare for the Curling Alberta U20 Women’s Provincial Championship in Edmonton next week.

The U18 team, who are playing at a U20 level, will get the opportunity at a provincial championship after winning the Curling Alberta U20 Women’s qualifier  ‘C’ event last weekend in Brooks.

Team Shannon ended up going to the last shot with CJ Jackson’s  Red Deer rink to win 6-5  in 10 ends.

“We’ve been practicing,” said Shannon.

“I went up to Calgary on Tuesday and we practiced and then on Saturday we’ll be practicing. We kind of just constantly talk over messages ,and calls and we get prepared that way mentally, because it’s going to be a mentally exhausting week. So I think going into U20s, it’s the best to be more mentally prepared than physically, I find, because there’s only two games a day but you have to stay with your team the whole week.”

The team is focusing more on the communication and their team strengths ahead of the provincial tournament.

“And trying to prepare to play our own game and our own strategy, instead of falling under the other team’s strategies,” said Shannon.

Shannon said provincials will be kind of just try and put your energy into the games of the day.

“And when we’re off curling, try and rest and relax and just have fun with your team,” said Shannon.

“Because I find that the provincials experience is more of like a really big team building experience, and just put our team dynamic to the test.”

Shannon thought it was great leading her team as the skip to the provincial berth.

“I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence off my team this year,” she said.

“And, yeah, I felt really good about leading them. But it was the whole team’s job. So it felt just like being together was really good.”

Team Shannon opened the qualifier with a Draw 1 9-6 nine end win over Elliot Martens rink on Friday and a 4-3 Draw 2 win over Irelande McMahon of Calgary to open up Saturday.

The team lost to Myla Plett’s rink 7-6 in 10 ends in the ‘A’ qualifier stage, which sent Shannon’s rink down to the ‘B’ qualifier where they met Martens rink again and lost 8-1 in their third game of the day.

“It was our third game of the day,” said Shannon.

“And the other team had a big advantage on us because we were tired and they weren’t. We got no breaks during the day. We were on the ice for like seven hours already. We went in there, kind of fumbled it, and then we just reset on the Saturday night.”

Team Shannon then met Team Jackson in the ‘C’ qualifier for the provincial berth on the Sunday morning.

“We were probably the most prepared for that game” said Shannon.

“We just went out there and played our best and  it did come down to last shot and we won the game.”

Shannon said you learn how success feels.

“Which is nice and I think it’s easy to build off success because you don’t want to lose that success,” said Shannon.

“And it’s also nice to go into a provincials still being a U18 team, (in) that you’re going into a higher ranked provincials. It’s exciting I find.”

Her message to the team is , “To always play the best you can and always persevere.”

The Curling U20 Provincial Championship will be from Jan. 24-29.


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